Thursday, May 17, 2007

Culture, Corporate

Since most of us spend the better part of our waking hours at work with a bunch of other people we probably wouldn't communicate with unless we were forced to by an employer, corporate culture is vitally important to our feelings of personal growth, achievement and self-worth.

As Eliot Noyes said, corporations, like people, give off clues to their characters in the ways they present themselves. Here are two video clues presenting two very different corporate cultures.

The first is from Ernst & Young and the clues coming off of this video couldn’t be more clear. Working here is awkward and stultifying. Join us and be a drone. Give us thirty of the best years of your life and we’ll give you a lovely keepsake timepiece at the end of it.

Jeez, it’s like a commercial for WhiteWorld.

Now compare that to this time waster from Connected Ventures. Just as white and probably even more insufferable but a whole lot more fun. They're saying, we get paid for being competitively outrageous. We have no shame about trendy eyeglasses and we can almost grow beards. BTW, this video will only look cool for approximately two more weeks.

Lip Dub - Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo

These two videos have been making their way through the corporate blogosphere and I found them on KnowHR and Johnnie Moore.

Perhaps it’s not fair to compare an accounting firm with a bunch of beer swilling twenty year olds who spend their time designing funny tee shirts, but surely in between the two is the perfect work environment . . . and most of us know instinctively on which end of the spectrum our environment lies.

Keep in mind, Ernst & Young spent good money on that trash and the other one was made in one take with a handheld camera. The biggest cost was in lost productivity as the whole office goofs off for a half hour.

You’d think a bunch of global business consultants would know better. But there’s an honesty in their effort. They can’t sing, they have no rythym, they’re geeks who belong firmly behind a desk. That truly is the E&Y culture.

And all that’s all fine because I’d never buy a funny tee-shirt from E&Y and I wouldn’t let those kids near my P&L statements.

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